Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Car Accident Recovery: What Comes After the Hospital Stay?

Published on Apr 30, 2019 by Thomas Law Offices.

Recovering from an automobile crash can be a long process. While it’s likely a hospital stay is the first step in healing, this is often the shortest step. The process really begins once you are home. Even with doctor’s orders, it can be difficult to know what to do once you’re home. You may be instructed to rest, or you may have to undergo physical therapy or surgical procedures. It’s important to understand the recovery process, so you know when you can return to work and how you can strengthen your car accident claim.

Understanding Your Maximum Medical Improvement

When you are observed, diagnosed, and treated after a car accident, your physician will be able to give you your maximum medical improvement (MMI). An MMI refers to the point in your medical treatment where you will have recovered as much as you will from the injuries you sustained in the collision. Depending on the severity of injuries, it can take months or even years to reach your MMI.

Understanding your MMI is important for a number of reasons. First, it will give you an idea of what your recovery will look like. Entering blindly into treatments or procedures with surgeons or physical therapists can be confusing if you are uncertain as to how they will benefit you. Every medical treatment you undergo should put you closer to reaching your MMI.

Your MMI is also important for your car accident claim. You may want to settle the claim quickly, especially if you will be without income for an extended period of time; however, if you do so without your MMI having been calculated, you are likely to receive less compensation than what you deserve or will need. With reports from your doctor, your lawyer will be able to determine how much money you will need throughout your recovery.

The Importance of Tracking Your Progress

While recovering from your injuries, it’s crucial to track your progress. As with understanding your MMI, documenting your treatment will benefit your physical health and your legal actions. You will be able to determine how your recovery is progressing compared to what your doctor said recovery would look like. In the event there are serious differences, it’s crucial to get in touch with your physician and determine if changes need to be made in your treatments.

Documenting your physical progress can also help strengthen your accident claim. It will make it easy for your attorney to verify with the insurance company that you are seeking treatment and abiding by the recommendations of your doctor. This will make it much more difficult for the insurance company to minimize your injuries or deny they exist.

Taking the Appropriate Amount of Time off Work

The amount of time you should take off from work will vary depending on the severity of your injuries and the type of work you do. Someone who works a desk job may be able to return to work before somebody who works in construction can, but it’s all contingent on the types of injuries. The best way to determine when to go back is to listen to your doctor. This will ensure you do not make your injuries worse. It will also aid with your car accident claim, as following your doctor’s recommendations is a crucial aspect of receiving the compensation you need from the insurance company.

Continuing Medical Treatment

In addition to understanding how long your recovery could take, tracking how you’re doing, and taking time off of work, you want to make sure you are following your doctor’s order and continue treatments as long as it is deemed medically necessary. This will ensure you are able to restore order in your life as quickly as possible.

It’s tempting when you begin to feel better to cease treatments. This, however, can hurt you physically and financially. If you stop treatments before you reach your MMI, your injuries could begin to worsen, or you could create additional problems. Disobeying your doctor also gives insurance companies the ability to say your injuries aren’t worth as much in compensation.

While recovering, it’s crucial to take steps with your insurance company to ensure your claim is on the right track. If negotiations are difficult or you are worried about being taken advantage of, our lawyers can provide you with answers and guidance. A Louisville car accident lawyer will work to determine what you are owed and do what it takes to make sure you are not short-changed. To learn more about the benefits of seeking legal representation, reach out to us today.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Legal & Firm News

What Does MMI Mean in Workers’ Compensation?

A workplace injury can occur in the office or the construction site. According to data compiled by the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, there were 38,600 nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses in 2021 across Kentucky’s private industries. At some point, every one of those injuries reached the maximum medical improvement (MMI). What does the […]

Read More

Can Medical Errors Cause PTSD?

When you suffer negligence at the hands of a medical provider, obvious physical issues arise in the aftermath. Your illness is worse instead of better, or you have a new injury that you didn’t have before. The stress and frustration of your situation might feel overwhelming and unstoppable, and you may begin to feel symptoms […]

Read More

5 Strategies To Keep Your Loved Ones Safe in the Hospital

According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as many as 35.5 million hospitalizations occur in the United States annually. Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) comparing hospitalization rates among 1-64-year-olds between 2009 and 2018 shows that just 5.2% of Americans in that age range were […]

Read More
Tad Thomas on The National Crime Victim Bar Association
National Civil Justice Institute - Trustee
Tad Thomas on Lawyer Minds
Tad Thomas on American Association for Justice
Southern Trial Lawyers Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Ohio Association for Justice
Kentucky Justice Association
Fellows of the Litigation Counsel of America
Martindale Hubbell Preeminent
2021 Public Justice Member
AAJ Masters of Trial Law: Champion